Dubai: An accountant faces seven years in jail after a court convicted him yesterday of deliberately setting fire to Dh250,000 in cash and stealing a similar amount from the taxi company where he worked.

The Dubai Court of First Instance convicted the 35-year-old Indian accountant of arson, theft and causing intentional damages and loss to his former employer.

"The accused, S.T., will be deported after serving his punishment," said Presiding Judge Al Saeed Mohammad Barghout upon pronouncing the verdict in courtroom four.

Prosecutors charged the accused of arson and theft and causing damages to the taxi company.

According to the arraignment sheet, prosecutors said S.T. deliberately set fire to the money bag which contained Dh500,000. He burned Dh250,000 and stole the rest.

International damage

He was also charged with causing intentional damage and financial loss to the company. The company's Indian manager testified that one of the employees informed him over the phone that the accounting office was on fire.

"I rushed to the company's premises to check what happened. We had left nearly half a million dirhams in a money bag which we kept inside a wooden cupboard. The money was our drivers' daily revenues. I discovered that half of the money got stolen and the remaining half was burned," the manager told prosecutors.

Forensic reports confirmed that the arsonist set fire to a piece of paper and put it inside the money bag.

Preliminary interrogations led to the arrest of S.T.

When questioned by the police and prosecution, S.T. said he was responsible for collecting the daily revenues from the company's drivers.

Prosecution records show that the accused admitted to stealing and burning the money.

Yesterday's judgment remains subject to appeal within 15 days.